Monday, November 12, 2012

spokane to NW vipassana center

Hoop Rider had been happily stranded in spokane for two additional nights at the home of ran prieur after two days of attempting to hitch a ride to the final destination of the HOOP TOUR, the NW Vipassana Center. the thought had crossed his mind that there might be a rideshare to the course, which are arranged through a rideshare board hosted by the center, but he thought it unlikely that he could find another server coming from spokane who could get him there early on the first day, before students arrived. when it looked unlikely that hitching would get him there on time, he had sent an e-mail to the center letting them know. in response he was told about a student coming from montana who was offering a ride! Hoop made the phone call and all was soon arranged.

the drive followed the route that Hoop Rider had imagined he would hitch-bike. this was from spokane to yakima, then taking highway 12 over White Pass to the west side of the Cascades. the conversation in the car flowed energetically, with a few breaks of peaceful silence. Hoop Rider shared the food he had brought, including a really good organic granny smith apple grown in washington recently and some of the last bag of Loki salmon jerkey. Kent, the driver, gave Hoop the last of his grass-fed steak leftovers.
Hoop was glad to meet another guy excited about working with nature through gardening, and doing inner, spiritual work through vipassana meditation. Kent lives on twenty acres in rural montana. his house is small and without electricity.

the center welcomed Hoop with comforting familiarity. there were some familiar faces there to greet him as well. of the eight other servers, two were people he had met previously on the HOOP TOUR! one of them was a young man named andrew who had been the course manager of the one Hoop had sat in Georgia. he had traveled by bicycle, following a similar route, and arrived at this center a bit earlier. hoop was excited to see him and both promised to share details of their experience when there was time.
the other familiar server was reintroduced as This. she had gone by a different name when Hoop had met her outside the natural food cooperative in New Orleans. she was one of the ones in the spontaneous song circle! it was such a surprise to see her that he didn't recognize her at first. she said that she'd been inspired through meeting Hoop to go to her first vipassana course. since then she had served and sat others.
what a happy convergence of meditating travelers!
another server he was happy to see was joe, who had served the first course Hoop sat back in 2010. joe's spirit was one that Hoop had felt a strong resonation with each time he had seen him since then. he had also been around when Hoop served the course at the beginning of the trip. he was the facilities manager for much of his long-term service. the kind of leadership joe offered as the kitchen manager of this course was flexible and loving. he did not seem to allow his reactive mind to get in the way of his heart very often.

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